Creativity and Innovation: Stop Animation Day 1

October 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today we’ll begin our first MakerSpace project: STOP Animation.

For the next 5 days of class, we’ll be working in groups to create stop animation videos.

What is stop animation? Stop animation, simply put, is just an animation technique.  You move the objects and take pictures of each move and then you edit all the pictures by using some software.  Let’s take a look at a few examples.  (I know they are made by professionals.  We are not expected to be that good, but no sloppy work please.)

Amazon Kindle Commercial

XBox Commercial


What if your project looked like this? This was made with just construction paper (12,000 pieces!!)

Do you really want to watch student examples? I would you rather not.  I don’t want you to settle on the minimum requirement. I want you to go above and beyond and do something extraordinary.

If you must, here is a couple from a previous semester on the water cycle and  solar system.

Now, read more about Slowmation videos here.

To create the stop animation infomercial, you need to at least do the following things.

  • Find good partners– creative, responsible, similar schedule, easy to meet with…(this project will take a lot of time and effort…so I will suggest that you work with at least one partner).
  • Plan: What are you going to make?
  • Think about the materials–  what kind of materials you need to make this stop animation
  • Make the set-up.
  • Get a camera and a tripod.
  • Take pictures!
  • Use iMovie or Windoes Movie Maker to turn your photos to a movie.
  • Add sound, background music…etc.
  • DONE!


  • How many people can be in a group?
    Since this project requires your creativity, effort and time, get into a group no more than 3.
  • How long should this stop animaiton be?
    Usually, it’s about one or two minutes.  A few students made longer ones before.
  • Can we use smartphone to take pictures?
    Yes, you can.  But the quality will be really really bad.  Strongly recommend that you use a digital camera, just the basic one will do a better job than smartphone.
  • How many pictures do we need?
    You may need only 100 pictures, or maybe 200.  One group set up the record for about 1400 pictures last semester.  TAKE MORE THAN YOU NEED!  The more images you have, the more smooth the film will be!
  • Do I really need a tripod?
    Most groups regret that they didn’t use the tripod after they completed the project.  They got a lot of blurred images.  Some of them even needed to retake the footage.
  • Do I really need background music?
    No, you don’t.  It’s totally up to you.  If it would add increase the value of your creation, I would recommend you do.

From previous students


  • Fully charge camera batteries  Some do not last too long.
  • Kodak Play Touch was a good camera- It was easier to operate.
  • The size of the background paper did not fit in the camera frame.
  • It is difficult to readjust the tripod height in different sittings.
  • Prepare props far in advance.


  • iMovie should be updated. Don’t take class time away from doing project.
  • iMovie: Set the default zoom fit in from ken burns BEFORE importing photos.
  • If your pictures still move erratically, select all (Command +A) photos and go to the property of a clip and change the property to fit in frame.

Must know

  • Add credits – for the music you are using.

Good to know

  • YouTube to MP3 to extract music

TODAY: Getting Started on Your Video:

We’ll worry about the tools we’re using to make your videos next week.  For now you just need to:

1. Gather a group of 2 or 3 classmates.
2. Come up with an idea for your video (make sure it matches a Georgia Performance Standard) The best topics are ones that show cycles, systems, formulas, strategies, processes, etc.
3. Plan your story.
4. Decide what props and equipment you’ll need.
5. Start writing your script.

For the next 5 days:

Day 2: On Wednesday, October 9, you’ll have the entire class to make your props, finish up your script, and organize whatever is needed for filming day.

Day 3: On Friday, October 11, depending on your progress, you may spend more time on making props or begin filming your project.  Bring a camera and a tripod. You may check out equipment from OIT (Aderhold 232) BEFORE you come to class Friday.

Day 4: On Monday, October 14, You’ll need to come to class ready to film – with props ready to go. You’ll need to take 200 or more still images to make a decent length slowmation video – so it might take awhile. Make sure you have enough storage space in your camera.

Day 5: On Wednesday, October 16, you will use iMovie or Windows  Movie Maker to turn the pictures into the animation. You will add narration  a background music.


1. Start collecting resources needed for props: cameras, clay figures, construction paper, models.

2. Write narration (use a google doc if you want to work on this together).

3. Come to class ready to start building your props.


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